Georgia’s Kirby Smart: Reckless driving issues being addressed internally

DESTIN, Fla. — Kirby Smart didn’t exactly offer a deep dive into his personal disciplinary doctrine regarding football players behaving recklessly in fast cars, but he did at least acknowledge that Georgia is addressing the issue.

Since Jan. 15 the double-fatality crash that took the lives a football player and recruiting staff member, Georgia football players have been arrested four times for infractions that included reckless driving and speeding. To date, Smart has not shared any details on what disciplinary or preventative measures he has implemented as a result.

Smart was asked about it Tuesday during his first availability at the SEC Spring Meetings here at the Hilton Sandestin Resort. After the 15-minute question-and-answer session, Smart did not stick around for follow-up questions from reporters, hustling off to the head coaches’ meeting in a secured area of the hotel.

“Everybody wants to know what the punishment is,” Smart said. “Players know what the punishment is, and that’s important for our players to acknowledge and understand. I want to educate further and make sure they understand. No one is more embarrassed than Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint and his parents. They’re crushed. But Marcus has to learn from this, so does De’Nylon (Morrissette).”

Exactly how they’re learning is unclear. In the case of felony arrests, DUIs and drug arrests, the UGA Athletic Association’s athlete handbook has clearly spelled-out repercussions. But there is nothing in that document is regarding traffic arrests.

Asked last week about how the issues are being handled, UGA President Jere Morehead and Athletic Director Josh Brooks both said they trust Smart to handle it.

“I know he’s addressing it, and I leave it up to him to determine what he wants to say publicly or not say publicly,” Morehead said of Smart. “I trust his judgment in that regard.”

Again, Smart assured only that the players are being disciplined.

“Part of being an 18-, 19-year old young man, a 20-year-old young man, a 21-year-old man, is learning from mistakes,” Smart said. “I was that age once, too. We don’t condone anything. They’ve got to do a good job of making good decisions off the field, and we’ve got a lot more education things lined up about that.

“But it’s not just about that, it’s about everything that they can get into as far as gambling, drugs and alcohol and treatment of the opposite sex. We’ve got tons of speakers that come in during our summer speaker program, and we’ve ramped that up.”

Rosemy-Jacksaint, a rising senior wide receiver from Pompano Beach, Florida, was arrested by an Athens-Clarke County police officer a week ago in Athens after being clocked at 90 mph in a 45-mph zone. He was charged with speeding and reckless driving.

Earlier this month, Morrissette, a sophomore receiver from Stone Mountain, was charged with DUI (drugs), driving too fast for conditions, following too closely and Class D license restriction after being involved in an excessive-speed accident.

Junior linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson was arrested in February for speeding and reckless driving from another incident that took place six days before the fatal crash.

Three of the four recent arrests for excessive speeding have come from players driving Dodge Chargers, which have 300-700 horsepower engines. Dumas-Johnson, Morrissette and Rosemy-Jacksaint were driving Chargers. Carter was driving a Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk, which has one of the more powerful engines on the market.

Gambling is another issue that Smart said is of growing concern for him and other SEC coaches.

“We’ve had issues with that in the past with that, too,” Smart said. “It’s more prevalent. I can’t turn the TV on now without seeing something. There’s a lot of debate out there about what’s right and what’s wrong, but the NCAA rule is pretty harsh for gambling relative to some other things. It’s pretty obvious why. They don’t want that infiltrating teams.”

Georgia football players currently aren’t in Athens. Freshmen report this week and most returning lettermen will be joining them over next weekend as summer conditioning and workouts begin the following week.

Not having the players under his control had Smart uneasy.

“They’ve been home for, what, three weeks now?” he said Tuesday. “That’s been a big concern; it’s a big concern when they’re with us.”

Georgia football coach Kirby Smart listens intently to a reporter's question during a 15-minute question-and-answer session on the first day of the SEC Spring Meetings on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at the Sandestin Hilton Beach and Golf Resort in Destin, Fla. (Photo by Chip Towers/

Credit: Chip Towers

icon to expand image

Credit: Chip Towers

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart celebrates after their win against TCU in the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship at SoFi Stadium, Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, in Inglewood, Ca. Georgia won 65-7. (Jason Getz/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz

icon to expand image

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz

Georgia football head coach Kirby Smart speaks to members of the press during a press conference at the Butts-Mehre Building ahead of spring practice, Tuesday, March 14, 2023, in Athens, GA. “We’ve got complete control of our program and our kids in our program,” Smart said. “Do kids make mistakes? Yes, young student-athletes make mistakes. They do. It happens all across the country. It happens here.” (Hyosub Shin /


icon to expand image